Statistics Canada has released the unemployment data for July 2010, showing a small up tick of 0.1%, putting the rate at 8.0%. In the United States in comparison, the rate was unchanged at 9.5%. Here’s the long term graph of Canada’s unemployment rate.

And here’s the change since September 2007 when the rate first bottomed out at 5.9%, the lowest rate in the dataset (which starts at January 1976).

From the chart you can see that while the unemployment rate increased quite quickly during the recession, the decline has been much more gradual. The following table summarizes the differences in the rate of change.

Looking at the long term data, the rate of increase in the unemployment was the fastest since early 1982, even though unemployment isn’t nearly as high this time (it peaked out at 13.1% in December of 1982). This time it started from a lower base and the increasing unemployment did not persist for as many months. Looking at the data for the 12 month periods leading up to the peak unemployment rate in the two recessions you can see how the jumps in the unemployment rate were persistently higher in the ’82 recession.

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